Antonio is a man who was born with unusually large incisors; his freakishly huge teeth make him an outcast from his peers as a child, and he attempts more than once to break off the offending choppers.
Dawn grows up in the shadow of a nuclear power plant. In high school, while her biology class studies evolution, she realizes she may have a hidden curse, an "adaptation." She lives with her mom, step-father, and hard-edged step-brother. She likes Tobey, a guy at school, and he likes her. She takes a pledge to remain chaste until marriage, so they date in groups, watch G-rated films, and don't kiss, but the power of teen hormones is great, so temptation beckons. Dawn has an admirer in Ryan, and when when things have an unexpected twist with Tobey, she turns to Ryan for help. Will he be her mythical hero and rescue her? Or can she find her way as her own hero, turning the curse into an asset?Written by
part crafty and topical satire, part crazy 'feminist' horror story
I was a little worried about this going in, even as I loved the joke that was the premise: a vagina with razor sharp fangs inside the walls. How much could be done with something like this? As I found out, a lot more than I expected, but especially surrounding it as a nifty satire on the world of abstinence pledgers in high schools. There can never be enough room to make fun of these 'abstinence-only' folk who wear the "Promise Rings" and are amid a self-made desensitized cult that, in essence, dissuades those who do have romantic connections from giving in to their desires. And there's mythology to boot!
If anything, the burgeoning relationship between Dawn (Jess Weixler) and Tobey (Hale Appleman) shouldn't be something they should ever have to avoid. But they do for "purity" sake, despite each others' curiosity about each other's bodies. The first attack is the most savage, and perhaps though the most anticipated, and with a sweet twist: it's a shock to each of them, as she has no idea what is "down there" (all the sex-ed textbooks have the vaginal area censored, this despite the penis right in diagram, a possible reference to how it turns out in visual-style in the picture as men may grab their crotches in unified pain).
To be sure, some of the satirical jabs and slight plot twists aren't totally effective. While the brother character (effectively played as scum by John Hensley) is needed to move the plot along at a crucial point, there's never much explanation to how he's such a sex-psycho with a big dog. There's also a touch of familial drama that feels a little forced (though, again, as part of disbelief that must be upheld throughout). What I liked, and at times even loved, as the pure abandon, like a talented filmmaker tackling the sexploitation genre with some juicy under-cutting to the society that this springs out of. Somehow this guy in his 50s- his first feature no less after years of acting gigs- has crafted some of the funniest penis jokes that could never be fathomed by, um, most people. To say it's a guilty pleasure doesn't do it justice, be it the most obvious jabs or the visual gags and symbolism (the cave opening, the phallic rocks, etc).
One more note: this is truly a "breakout" performance as Weixler plays Dawn for all its worth as a character who truly has an "arc", if you could call it that. Whether it's the sexually confused innocent early in the film, to the totally mind-f****d soul who realizes an old myth called Vagina Dentata may be why she has this via nuclear radiation, and then onward as someone who can use that tunnel of love for all its worth. She's someone to look out for in the indie world, and leads this film along like it's worth every minute. 7.5/10
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